Today’s post is different than my usual high-altitude recipes. I just attended an online chocolate tasting and wanted to share my experience. Never having participated in a chocolate tasting event, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Of course I’ve eaten my fair share of chocolate, but never in so sophisticated a fashion. I imagined it to be like a wine tasting, without the spit bucket.
The monthly Chocolate Club tastings are organized by Boulder Book Store. As this is my birth month, I decided to give myself the gift of a chocolate class. (Self-care at its best!). After signing up and then receiving the chocolates, I went to the chocolatiers’ websites to look over their tasting notes. These are not your average chocolates. With clean ingredients, ideas of “notes of blackberry and cashews,” and suggested beverage pairings, I waited eagerly for today’s class.
John Lehndorff, the instructor, started with a brief discussion of the areas where the different chocolates were made. For some chocolate producers he described how much labor went into the production of the bar in my hand. Next, John explained how to correctly do a chocolate tasting and added some of his own tasting notes.
As a group, we carefully unwrapped our chocolates and savored the smells and tastes. The chocolate bars are chosen as they are special in their own ways, so we took great care to absorb the nuances of each one. As a I held a bite of chocolate in my mouth and let it melt on my tongue, I savored the evolving flavors. One bar had a burst of sea salt; another held nutty overtones; a third was infused with ginger and rose essences. My taste buds were amazed, even after trying several bars, because no two bars were alike. I did not tire of sampling chocolate as the experience was unusual in its complexity.
The concept of chocolate tasting may sound snooty, but it was an excellent learning experience. It doesn’t mean I will never again devour chocolate in a few bites, but I hope that I can try to pause and take wonder at the intricate flavors that abound in a special bar of chocolate.
Until next time, happy non-baking!